Skyway Mont Blanc

La Skyway it is the cable car that goes up from the town of Courmayeur to around 1500 meters above sea level and reaches Punta Helbronner at 3500 metres, arriving directly in the heart of the Mont Blanc glacier.

Many have called it the eighth wonder of the world but we prefer to define it the perfect meeting point between human genius and the spectacle of nature. Those who arrive at the foot of the skyway already begin to understand the effort behind one of the greatest engineering works ever made in human history.

In the valley while shopping the ticket (61 €) you feel tiny in front of the stone giants of Mont Blanc, yet when you start to go up at full speed on the cable car, which rotates 360 ° on itself, you see the town of Courmayeur disappear into the landscape and everything starts to change.

The first stretch runs along the slopes of the mountains that turn from green to gray, the stony ground become castles of rock and then begin to be broken by the tongues of the glaciers that descend towards the valley. In a few minutes we are at high altitude and those peaks that once stood high above us are now there by our side that welcome us to a new world, the Mont Blanc glacier.

This cable car is a true concentrate of high engineering and high technology; made by an Italian company and Italian workers, the Skyway is the maximum representation of the human genius able to overcome adversity and physical and technological challenges by applying with intelligence and team spirit.

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We do not want to bore you with aseptic numbers, if you are interested in finding out how the cable car was built, we advise you to see it for yourself by watching the official construction video.

As we said, when you reach the top you find yourself in front of a natural amphitheater composed of some of the most famous peaks in the world, the history of mountaineering and beyond was made here, a concentration of history and nature that leaves you speechless with its beauty.

To facilitate the astonishment is also the structure that allows us to keep our gaze fixed on the external spectacle thanks to some large windows. Both the intermediate station and the top station are the result of a careful study of the architecture that blends well with the surrounding landscape.

skyway panorama architecture

But when you get to the top, what can you do?

The Skyway is beautiful but why should I go up and visit it?
Is it really worth the € 61 you pay for the ticket? And once you get to the top what can you do to spend the day without getting bored?

We who had the pleasure of discovering this fantastic place have tried to summarize in 7 points the main activities to do when you decide to go up and visit the Skyway and the Mont Blanc glacier, here they are:

1. Panoramic terrace

What is the landscape from an altitude of 3500 meters?

It is above all to answer this question that you take the Skyway up to Punta Helbroner. Here a fantastic panoramic terrace has been created that allows you to enjoy the 360 degree panorama of Mont Blanc and its glaciers, on the main peaks such as the Dente del Gigante and then the green of the meadows and woods of the Val Veny and Val Ferret, and last but not least the country of Courmayeur and their respective mountains.

The panoramic terrace is in fact the highest point reachable by the Skyway cable car, tables are positioned that allow us to identify the peaks and the most important points of the panorama in front of us so as to be able to give a name to the beauties that delight the our eyes.
It is not possible to describe in words the emotion that one feels in front of such a show, difficult to find a comparison with other destinations.

Tip: cover up well for the strong wind, go up to the terrace right away also allows you to get an idea of ​​the landscape that surrounds you and better understand the locations that you will visit later.

Mont Blanc panorama in summer seen from the skyway
skyway terrace table
table skyline peaks mont blanc

2. Glacier excursion

If it is not enough for you to see it from above but you want to step on it and feel the effect it has walk on the highest glacier in Europe then an excursion on the white expanse of snow and ice is a must.

Just get off with the elevator and cross a tunnel dug in the heart of the mountain to get to the famous Torino Refuge, the starting point for glacier hikes.

Mont Blanc tunnel connecting the Turin refuge
Turin Mont Blanc Refuge

We strongly advise you to rely on an Alpine Guide; Not just because it will enable you to cross the glacier in complete safety also because he will be your guide, telling you step by step the characteristics of the glaciers, their formation, the names of the peaks, the natural events and the history of these almost mystical places.

The glacier excursion must always be done as a roped party so as to be able to give support to companions in case of difficulty, when you encounter a crevasse or when the visibility conditions worsen. We renew our invitation to rely on an expert mountain guide because at 3500 meters the conditions can become prohibitive at any moment and the dangers are around the corner (crevasses).

Council: the cost of an excursion with the mountain guide is between 60 and 90 € per person, but they are all worth it. We have had the pleasure not only of walking on the glacier but also of experiencing unimaginable things like the possibility of safely descend into a crevasse! TO TRY!

Mont Blanc glacier crevasse
Mont Blanc Glacier Excursion
panorama photo mont blanc glacier

3. Lunch with a view of Mont Blanc

Nothing makes you hungrier than a glacier hike but there is nothing to worry about, there are seats at the table for everyone!

After a nice outing on the snow and ice, there is nothing better than sitting down at the table and enjoying the delicacies of the Aosta Valley cuisine. Even at 3500 meters you can taste the typical products made with skill by the farms of the Aosta Valley such as mocetta, budin, Aosta Valley sausage, fontina ... and then again a nice plate of polenta with fontina and mushrooms or fontina and sausage for fill up with energy!
All accompanied by excellent Aosta Valley wines, perhaps left to rest in barrels at 2100 meters above sea level!

But what makes the lunch on the Skyway it is once again the panorama, the typical flavors of tradition meet the beauty of the perennially snow-capped peaks thanks to the large windows overlooking Mont Blanc and the valleys below.

4. Solarium on the Val Veny

After lunch, a nap is fine, especially if we faced a demanding excursion in the morning.

Therefore, the solarium of the intermediate station comes to our aid, which directly overlooks the magnificent Val Veny and is always dominated by snow-capped peaks.

Il contrast between the deep green of the valley and the white of the peaks it is well linked to the pleasant contrast between the fresh mountain air and the sun that tans our skin.
What more could you ask for ?!

5. Botanical garden

Once rested it is time to resume exploring the Skyway. Just leave the middle station to find yourself in the heart of the high altitude botanical garden.

Like the botanical gardens that can be found in cities or more generally in the centers of the plain, here we can visit a garden with flowers of a thousand colors at an altitude of over 2000 meters.

The same place that in winter is buried by 5 meters of snow, in summer turns into a colorful garden with dozens of species of flowers and plants that draw a natural framework at the foot of Mont Blanc.

The tongues of ice that descend from the gullies almost seem to want to touch these spectacular alpine and non-alpine flowers.
Various signs and indications lead to the discovery of the various floral species present.

NOTE: At the entrance to the botanical garden is also located a playground where children can have fun breathing in the healthy air of Mont Blanc.

6. Cimena

Before leaving the Skyway it is a must to visit 2 interesting gems ...
Bars, restaurants, museums and panoramic terraces are present in various lift stations around the world, but SkyWay has gone further by hosting a cinema inside!
You got it right, a cinema room! If you are thinking of a closet with a 50 inch television, you are very wrong, the Skyway in fact can count on a cinema room with a screen and armchairs that have nothing to envy to the multiplexes of our cities. Here documentaries and films about the mountains are continuously shown and can be enjoyed comfortably seated in an armchair.

It is this room that, together with the panoramic terrace and the numerous restaurants, make the Skyway one of the most requested locations for the presentation of new products to be launched on the world market. From cars to new generation smartphones, multinationals around the world are competing to win a space where they can launch the latest news.

Note: The cinema, however, is not the only "technological area" that we can find, for example when we arrive at the Punta Helbroner station we can visit a room overlooking the Mont Blanc full of interactive screens that lead us to discover the glacier. The touch screen allows us to virtually visit the white expanse and let us know the names of the peaks and glaciers.
A digital tour that allows us to discover interesting details enriching, if possible, even more the magical experience of close contact with the glacier and the highest peaks in Europe.

7. Cantina d'Alta Quota

The last gem before returning to the valley is certainly the high altitude cellar.
The highest wine cellar in Europe has also been created in the intermediate station! Here rests the Cave du Vin Blanche, the wine from a Aosta Valley winery that has chosen to rest part of its wine production here at the foot of Mont Blanc.
It is a real experiment to verify what impact and what variations can bring the rest of wine at high altitudes rather than in the valley.

The wine that we find here comes directly from a native Valle d'Aosta vine which, unlike others, has maintained its own identity. Precisely this authenticity makes this type of vineyard the only one in the world capable of resisting some parasites, in fact its structure makes it immune to their attacks.

The cellar, in addition to being fascinating, allows you to discover this particular experiment up close and once the tour is completed you can move to the bar room to taste this particular wine and toast to the magnificent day spent on the Skyway!

With this article we wanted to summarize the 7 activities to do that most impressed us in our personal visit, but the opportunities offered by the Skyway and more generally by the Aosta Valley mountains are many more.

Now there are no more excuses, it's time to plan your outing on the Skyway and discover up close the beauties that Mont Blanc and Valle d'Aosta have to offer.

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